Faith-healing death puts light on unlicensed doctors

AP, Nov. 30, 2002
By Sandra Marquez, Associated Press

SANTA ANA — Roberto Caceres was desperate.

Two years after developing a rash that caused his legs to swell and his skin to peel, the Salvadoran immigrant sought treatment from a woman he believed could use traditional remedies to cure what modern medicine could not.

Caceres, 54, an air-conditioner repairman at an Orange County shopping mall, was on the brink of losing his job because the pills prescribed by doctors failed to cure his affliction, and he found it difficult to work.

As a last resort, family members said, he turned to a Van Nuys faith healer touted by a popular Spanish-language radio host. During Caceres’ second visit on Oct. 28, according to police, the faith healer ordered an assistant to inject him with a mix of vitamins and steroids. He had an immediate reaction and died that day.

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This post was last updated: Dec. 16, 2016